C’mon, guys, come on…
Good news, everyone! We can add yet another instance in where television news has taken a video game image and misappropriate it in a report. This seems to be a growing trend lately. Should we be worried?
The latest unfortunate blunder comes from Russia Today (RT), a 24/7 English-language news channel that brings the Russian view on global news, on a program called Sophie&Co. The feature introduced child soldier turned hip hop artist and activist Emmanuel Jal. They discuss his tumultuous childhood and experiences in the Sudanese civil war. Almost six minutes into the broadcast, a picture pops up on one of the screens. Either to the untrained eye or to any non-gamer, this would seem like any other picture taken in South Sudan. But it’s not. Look familiar?
The image is actually one of the official screenshots from Konami’s Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. The game itself takes place in the 1980s with segments featuring Africa and (obviously) child soldiers. Let’s think for a minute the implications of the split second this image popped up on air:
RT used a video game screenshot…to illustrate a real-world humanitarian crisis.
We wish we could say this was the only time something like this happened in legitimate(?) news, but like we said earlier, it’s becoming a dangerous trend. British channel ITV apologized for faking footage on one of their flagship shows to illustrate an IRA attack on a British helicopter. In reality, it’s footage taken from Arma II. Soon after that, BBC mistook Halo’s United Nations Space Command symbol for the United Nations Security Council. Last year, a Danish news channel mistook a screenshot from Assassin’s Creed’s Damascus (which takes place 700+ years ago) for modern-day Syria. Most recently, Fox and Friends unveiled their new logo for their “Defending the Homeland” segment. It bears an uncanny resemblance to Bioshock Infinite’s logo.
Speaking of Bioshock Infinite, a Florida Tea Party group also used a propaganda poster from the video game. It says “For God and Country – It Is Our Holy Duty To Guard Against The Foreign Hordes.” Whether they used it ironically or not is still up for debate, but we’re pretty sure no one in that group has ever played a Bioshock game before.
Truly we live in an age where the internet is overflowing with information, both correct and incorrect. This can also be seen as a testament to how much video games are impacting our society, and those noobs don’t even realize it. Kudos to game developers, however, for being so convincing that people mistake their work for real life.